Will an Alkaline Diet Help to Balance your pH Levels?
Have you seen a few anti-aging ads on TV? Have you ever heard your salon expert say, ‘Your pH levels need to be restored to bring back the glow?’ If not at the salon, then an Ayurveda doctor saying your body is acidic and needs to be balanced. We are sure you have heard these questions plenty of times and often wonder what it means exactly.
There are so many diet food fads that people follow to remain fit and young. Some are good while a few others are bad, but very few are based on scientific research. This is not to say that these diets do not help. One such diet that helps in keeping disease away and adds longevity is an alkaline food diet.
Wondering what an alkaline diet entails?
An alkaline diet helps you keep the equilibrium of pH levels of bodily fluids like urine and blood. The mineral density of your food helps to determine the pH levels in your body. All living beings on earth are dependent on their ideal pH levels, to survive and keep diseases at bay.
Experts believe that our humans need to control blood pH levels between 7.34 to 7.40 pts, in order to live well. Our body usually takes extraordinary steps to maintain pH levels, and it can range from 7.3 to 7.5; depending on the time of day it is, what you eat and when you visited the loo last. If you tend to consume food that is acidic in nature such as meat, dairy, and poultry then you may develop electrolyte imbalance. This imbalance could change your pH levels and lead to acidosis.
According to a review done by the Journal of Environmental Health in the year 2012, maintaining your pH level by eating alkaline based foods like fruits, and vegetables helps to reduce your indisposition to and death from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, arthritis, diabetes, low bone density, vitamin D deficiency and others.
Don’t know what pH level means?
Here’s what it means, pH represents the concentration of the hydrogen ion in our body. It is a measure of how acidic or alkaline our body fluids and tissues are. It is measured on a scale between 1 -14, where 7 is considered to be neutral pH, while below 7 is acidic and above is alkaline. The ideal pH level in our body is 7.4, which means our body is more alkaline than acidic. However, these levels differ throughout our body, where the pH in our stomach is more acidic than alkaline.
A fraction of a change in the levels can affect living organisms tremendously. For e.g. pH levels play an important role when it comes to growing plants, which in turn affects the mineral content in our food. The mineral content in the sea, the soil and human body acts as buffers that help to maintain pH levels in the body. That is why mineral content tends to fall when acidity rises. A visit to the physician can definitely help you restore any imbalance in the pH levels; but, did you know eating the right kind of foods can help you maintain your pH levels?
Should you try the Alkaline Diet?
Following this diet would mean replacing acidic foods with alkaline diet food to balance the pH levels in your body. Foods like eggs, meat, poultry, milk, butter, cheese, grains and alcohol are acidic as they contain phosphate, sulfur and protein. While foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes are alkaline as they have calcium, magnesium and potassium. Natural fats, carbs and natural sugars are considered to be neutral.
Though such a diet is bound to improve your health and fight many chronic diseases like cancer, there is no evidence that such alkaline based foods really help. The only reason it is considered a healthy diet is because it motivates you to consume lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as unprocessed plant based food. Yet, you can’t ignore foods that help you get important amino and fatty acids as they are an important part of your diet. Unless you are intolerant to acidic foods like dairy, you should avoid cutting them off from your food intake.
The best thing you could do is follow the acid alkaline balance diet, where you have foods that help your body get the necessary proteins, fats, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphates.
Take a look at the benefits of alkaline based food, before you decide to go alkaline.
Maintains muscle mass and bone density:
Your mineral intake is crucial when it comes to development and maintenance of bones in the body. Diets rich in alkaline foods can help you balance the ratio of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and phosphate to build strong bones and maintain muscles. Such a diet also helps to improve absorption of Vitamin D, and creation of growth hormones which protect your bones and keep away protracted diseases such as Sarcopenia (muscle wasting disease)
Prevents Stroke and High Blood Pressure:
Anti-aging is one of the best benefits of an alkaline diet. It helps to lower swelling and augment the production of growth hormones, which help to improve your heart health. Good vascular health helps to keep issues like high blood pressure, kidney stones, high cholesterol, and memory loss at bay.
Lowers Pain and Swelling:
Researchers believe an alkaline diet helps to lower chronic pain in your body. Prolonged acidosis leads to chronic headaches, muscle spasms, chronic back ache, joint pains and swelling. Increasing your magnesium intake will help you boost the enzyme structures and other bodily functions.
If you don’t have enough minerals in the body, waste disposal and oxygenation, are hampered. Mineral loss may also lead to lower vitamin absorption, and accumulation of toxins and pathogens in your body. According to the British Journal of Radiology, death of cancerous cells was more likely if you had an alkaline body. An alkaline diet helps to reduce inflammation and mitigate the risk of cancer while helping a few chemotherapy drugs work better as they need a high alkaline environment in the body.
Substituting alkaline based food for acidic food helps you from becoming obese as it decreases leptin levels and inflammation in the body. Decreasing leptin levels affect your hunger and the body’s ability to burn fat. Increasing intake of alkaline foods, allows your body to maintain normal leptin levels and help you feel full faster. This means you only consume those calories that your body needs.
Now that you know what an alkaline diet is and how it helps to maintain your pH levels, you can decide if you really want to go alkaline. It’s essential to do your research in this area, and consult Best Dietitians in Hyderabad before implementing any diet plan.